Improve your money management with no effort

Seven ways to get on top of your finances and save money - without trying

We work hard enough in life, so when we come home, we have every right to expect to be able to put our feet up, and take a break. The last thing we want to do is to start working hard all over again, managing our money.

Fortunately, there are seven things you can do to save money and get on top of your finances without any effort at all.

See also: How to better use your time to improve your finances

See also: Your money or your life: being money-focused is killing you

1. Pay bills by direct debit
This effectively automates the process, so the money comes out each month, without you having to remember to pay your bills. It means you'll never have to deal with an overdue notice or a fine for late payment ever again.

2. Set up automatic savings
Your workplace may offer a scheme where your pay goes into a savings account before you see the cash. Alternatively, you can set up a direct debit to come out of your current account and into savings on the first day of the month. That way you can build up a savings pot for emergencies, and another for long term projects - without having to think about it.

3. Ask for a pay rise
It's not something that comes easily to most people, but it takes far less time and effort than hunting for a whole new job. It's worth approaching this carefully: explain how your role has evolved; how you are taking on more responsibilities; and how you are helping the company make more money - then leave it with them. Don't threaten to leave unless you get more cash: that's a bridge you can cross when you come to it.

4. Use Amazon subscribe and save
This will automatically deliver the household basics at regular intervals - at a lower cost in return for regular purchases.

5. Use Mysupermarket.co.uk
Alternatively, create a regular shopping list on this clever website, and you can search each week for where the items are cheapest, then buy online direct through the site. That way you get additional savings, without having to search for deals or leave the sofa.

6. Stop throwing groceries away
We throw away around £400 worth of groceries every year. That's food we have planned for, shopped for, and carted home. We can save all this trouble just by eating what we buy before it rots. One step will help enormously - that's checking the fridge and bread bin every morning to see what's on its last legs. Freeze anything that's close to the edge, and if it doesn't freeze, plan the next available meal around it.

7. Share purchases with the neighbours
Get the neighbours round for a drink, and suggest sharing a few purchases of the kinds of bulky things you rarely use. If one of you buys a lawnmower, one a hedge trimmer, and one a ladder, you can cut the cost and save on storage space into the bargain.

It goes to show that you can be both lazy and savvy - the key is using your mind instead of your time.

Save money on shopping

Save money on shopping